cantering vent UGH! - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 22 Old 06-25-2011, 09:52 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: The Deep South
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• Horses: 1
I'm in a similar situation, as I took 10 years off from riding, then came back to it in late December 2010.

We did only walk-trot for the first 2-3 months. I was/am out of shape, my legs were not strong and it took some time for my seat to come back to me. We cantered for a little bit in late February/early March. Then I took almost a month off because of work and scheduling problems. The mare I'd been cantering on had a *wonderful* slow, western type lope. The only problem was she'd throw her head a little in the beginning, and about 6-8 strides into it, would break into a trot. Every time. It's like just as I was beginning to get into the rhythm in 2-point and start settling into the saddle, she'd break.

Well, I came back to lessons in late April, did walk-trot for a while. My instructor would ask me if I wanted to canter, and I'd think about it, then talk myself out of it. Then two weeks ago, she gave me an ultimatum -- canter at the next lesson, or she would take my stirrups away. (I'm 32, btw. I felt like *such* a little kid when she said it.)

So, I cantered in the next lesson. Just prior we had done a nice lunge lesson, so I could solidify my seat a bit, and learn how to balance without reins. (Which is a WONDERFUL thing to do, btw.) Towards the end, while we were in the round pen, I had him pick up a canter. Which felt odd as hell, since we were moving in a circle. Then we moved to the regular ring and I cantered him 2x more. (In short bursts.)

The first time, about 4 strides in, his back foot slid out a bit. The second time, he picked up the wrong lead, which threw me off balance and it felt 'quicker' to me. Not once did I feel secure enough to come out of 2-point/half seat. It wasn't as smooth as I'd liked, but now I know when I go out for a lesson, if I don't canter when she asks, I know she's going to take away my stirrups. There's no buildup of 'Am I going to do it? Am I going to do it? No, I can't do it today.' There's no real anxiety to it. Just a sort of defeated acceptance. OK. We'll canter. /Eeore

Now, ultimatums probably aren't the best tactic for everyone, but it gave me enough of a reason to do it. Even though I'd already been doing 1' jumps at a trot and really and truly trust this horse and my trainer, I just couldn't push through with doing it when asked.
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post #22 of 22 Old 06-29-2011, 05:28 PM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: East Coast
Posts: 766
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I think that maybe Bella is an outstanding horse but needs more of an experienced rider that can work her like she needs to be worked. There probably is nothing wrong with the way you are riding or the way she is working or being worked. The school pony also is probably a push button horse that knows what to do before you even give the signal for it because they go through the rhythem everyday. Do you know any other more experienced riders aside from your trainer that would be willing to ride Bella for you? Or maybe consider leasing her to someone that can work her like an OTTB needs to be and look for ahorse that is more well suited for you that you feel more comfortable with. Being on a horse and being nervous is the last thing you want to be because the horse can sense it and will most likely try to take advantage of the situation. Best of luck to you and i hope that it works out.

Your horse is an extension of you.
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